The Sega Dreamcast seems to be the platform of choice these days for many RPG developers. Ubi Soft is no stranger to the Dreamcast RPG market, with Evolution and the upcoming Evolution 2, and the company will soon add a darker, more mature RPG to its repertoire: Arcatera: the Dark Brotherhood. The game is the first international title by European developer, Westka, and its concept and storyline have been in production for over twelve years.
Arcatera: the Dark Brotherhood is a point-and-click, PC-style RPG that will take gamers on an exciting, highly interactive adventure. The game follows a player-selected main character's investigation to prevent a Prince from being overthrown and all the chaos that would ensue. Arcatera: the Dark Brotherhood will take place in a real-time environment, and events will occur regardless of whether or not the player is in the area. Because of this, players will have to strategically make use of the time they have in order to suceed in their quest.
The story and gameplay of Arcatera: the Dark Brotherhood are non-linear in format. Since events are firmly set in time, one missed event may lead the player to another path in the storyline, therefore making a different story possible each time you play. Arcatera: the Dark Brotherhood will feature ten possible endings, which will make for immense replay value. Another highlight is the ability for players to create their own party of up to four characters, each one with their own skills and weaknesses.
Arcatera: the Dark Brotherhood takes place in a large world with many different environments. The main city, Senora, is made up of three sectors: ghetto-like Eastwards, middle-class Westville, and prestigious Middletown. Outdoor regions include a large forest, several swamps, and an old quarry. All of Arcatera's inhabitants have a complex behavior system, similar to the system of Sega's Shen Mue. Characters are programmed with their own history, characteristics, and daily routines, and some of these factors can change depending on the player's actions.
One of the most impressive aspects of Arcatera: the Dark Brotherhood is the real-time graphical detail. Techniques such as filtering, shadowing, and varying lighting sources will affect environments as the game's virtual time ticks away, making the world of Arcatera that much more immersive. Battles will feature fantastic explosions, intense magic spells, and realistic fog courtesy of special lighting and transparency effects.
Arcatera: the Dark Brotherhood will hit North America sometime in 2000, but no official date has yet been confirmed. RPGamer will keep you informed as new information emerges concerning this exciting new game from Ubi Soft.